VALUE OF WATER

Creating value from water

Focus of thematic cluster


G-STIC 2017 successfully highlighted the range of technologies that are available to accelerate wastewater & resource recovery as well as smart water management. With both large-scale centralised systems and small-scale decentralised systems, wastewater is increasingly used as a source of clean water, energy, fertilizer and other materials for agriculture, industrial or domestic use. Likewise, ICT innovations have driven a more efficient and alternative use of water resources as well as the creation of new water-related services.

Review of the SDG6 (clean water and sanitation) implementation, however, has revealed the need for a major technology transition if the ambitious SDG goals related to water are to be reached. A major bottleneck to the achievement of the water-related SDGs is the lack of financing and investments in innovation. Even if the rapid development of water-related science and technology will have a profound impact on the delivery of the SDGs, innovation is only taking place at a snail’s pace. Financial resources spent on innovation in the energy sector, to give an example, are a thousand times the resources spent on innovation in the water sector. One of the main reasons for this is that we undervalue water. 

G-STIC 2018 will look into the hurdles and solutions for the implementation and upscaling of integrated technological solutions. Focusing on innovations to create value from water, we will ask

  • How can we mobilise significant investments in water technology and innovations?
  • How significant is the role of nature-based solutions for the achievement of the water-related SDGs?
  • What are effective and sustainable business models that support the mobilisation of sufficient financing?
  • What needs to be done to facilitate the creation of new business models and partnerships in the water and wastewater services sector?
  • What are key challenges and opportunities to for new public-private partnerships in the water and wastewater services sector?

Programme outline


The High-level Dialogue on Policy Actions on Wednesday November 28 (13:00 - 14:30) will reflect on the G-STIC 2017 conclusions. Looking into the challenges and the paradigm shift that is needed to catalyse innovation in water management, it will enable interaction with the conference audience. 

On Thursday November 29, individual thematic sessions will focus on

  • the innovative capacity of water stewardship and water markets 
  • investing in wastewater and recovering valuable resources 
  • enhancing and investing in benefits from nature-based solutions for water
  • new public-private partnerships and business models for high value services 

Potential impact on SDGs

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Since water is at the core of sustainable development, the rapid growth of water-related science and technology is bound to have a profound impact on society.  The availability of the right quantity and quality of water is not just essential for delivering SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) but is crucial for many of the other SDGs as well.

For example, SDG 2 (zero hunger) depends on the availability of water for production and fishing. SDG 14 (stop and reverse the decline of water quality and the destruction of freshwater ecosystems) and SDG 9 (promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation) will only be delivered if adequate supplies of water of good quality are available.   

Wise management of water resources and services will not only bring benefits for public health and environmental quality. It can also be a real driver of socio-economic development and political stability. Emerging science and technology is creating an opportunity for developed countries and nations in transition to accelerate their transformation to sustainable water resources and services management.

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